http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/os-orlando-teens-in-foster-care-overcome-adversity-in-the-kitchen-20160225-story.html

Teaching teens to cook can be as difficult as perfecting a Croquembouche. It can be even harder for teens in the foster care system.

“People my age they feel like they can’t do it because it’s already so hard on us being in the foster care system or whatever the case may be,” said Dawnasia Coleman, a 9th grader at Edgewater High School.

Coleman is part of the First Star Central Florida Academy which is a college preparation and mentoring program for youth in foster care.

The group met at the cooking school “Truffles and Trifles” in College Park to learn how to make a four course meal from scratch.

The teens kneaded and baked bread, cut vegetables and mashed potatoes among other kitchen tasks.

“We send them to the pantry and we give them the recipes and they do their own measurements,” said Cheft Rachida Berji an instructor who donated her time for the event.

Students who have been or currently are in the foster care system can enter the First Star Central Florida Academy program in the 8th grade and can participate through high school graduation.

Group members also go through a college prep boot camp at the University of Central Florida for four weeks in the summer to help them transition into independent living.

Once a month the teens meet as a group around Central Florida for various activities that promote life and social skills.

“Just starting little and small in this kitchen lets me know I can make it somewhere else,” said Coleman.